Pick a Free OS

Know Linux

Windows 98 creates a file system called FAT32 on the entire hard disk, DOS and Win95 use FAT16. Linux has many file systems-on the most popular is ext3. But you could have Linux installed on Fat32 partitions also.

Linux is geeky and based on text command

Linux has come a long way from being the system of geeks. It has an extremely advanced X Windows systems that has a complete graphical user interface-you know, like Windows. It also has a large number of window manager that let you work with different levels of customization of your desktop.

Linux has a robust character-cell interface where commands need to be typed in. x Windows is a free program that runs with Linux to provide a GUI where the mouse and keyboard can be used extensively. But the X system itself is quite primitive and needs a window manager, or a desktop environment- like GNOME or KDE- to be really usable. Window managers are programs that let you interact with the underlying X system and LinuxOS by relaying commands. The popular window managers are Sawfish, Enlightenment, Black box, after step and Window maker.

As for desktop managers, they have their own window manager and other tools that make you feel that you are working in Window! GNOME and KDE are the most popular of these. GNOME stands for GNU Network Model Environment and KDE for K desktop Environment. They have tools that allow drag and drop, have panels and taskbar- almost like clones of windows.

Hardware compatibility problem and few applications that run on Linux

Well, most new distributions will detect and configure your hardware in a jiffy, unless you have some really old or exotic piece of hardware. Only Win modems (internal modems driven by Window drivers) face problems.

As for software, there’s plenty. And most of it comes free-free for you to use, modify and configure according to your needs. Other packages are commercial and you have to buy the software-but this is mostly for the software and training you need, and not for the support and training you need, and not for the software itself. Sometimes, if you have the Windows version (as a doom) you can download a small program that will allow you to play the game in Linux. Here what’s available?

Office suites: Star Office, Open Office, Applixware, Corel WordPerfect

Graphics: GIMP, Corel Photo paint

Music: XMMS, Free amp, Real Player

Video: MTV, Xine

Games: FreeCiv, Tux racer, Doom, Quake, Heretic, Unreal

And the list is growing.

Linux varieties: